Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Woe of RSS

I am in a terrible state of anxiety. I read blogs through RSS, not quite exclusively - but it's where I start for almost everything. Having Google Reader go away at the beginning of the month was a terrible blow - but for the most part, I made a simple enough transition to The Old Reader, and went on my way. I'm not entirely sold on it - it has some quirks I could do without, or that I haven't entirely figured out how to work around - but mostly, it's a nice replacement. Quick, stable, usable... no complaints.

But suddenly - they are down. From the looks of it, they moved their databases to a new set of servers - and things went pear shaped. They were offline a while over the weekend (irritating, but that's life) - but now, they have gone down, server issues, and have been down a while now. I am left without an RSS feed!

I tried out Bloglines before Google reader went away - it has some nice features, but it was noticeably slower than the Old Reader, and always acted a bit odd, so I went to the old reader instead.... and now, trying to go back, use it for a day, I see why I picked the old reader. Slow! weird stuff with logging in! took forever to bring up the last month's worth of feeds (since I haven't used it) - but then didn't mark them read right when I did. Oy. What a pain.

It's depressing how set in my ways I become sometimes. And a reminder of one of my hobby horses - that while the hardware keeps getting better and better and better, software does not. Software may add capabilities that it never had before - the way everything has integrated sound, pictures, video over the last 15 years or so... But I don't see the basics ever getting better - or even maintaining their quality. All this trouble with RSS has not made anything better - none of the alternatives are better than Reader was when I started using it, whenever that was. (08 or 09, somewhere in there, I think; though I don't know - I've been doing this a hell of a long time, and I lose track of how long it has been since I have changed some habit or other... I could probably figure it out by looking at how long it's been since I updated my blogroll...) It's more dramatic, I suppose, with things like word processors - I have expressed my opinions of MS Word from nearly the incipience of this humble blog - Word 5.1, back in 1991, ran better than anything I have on this machine now. Computers get more and more powerful - the hardware supports more and more things (from faster connections to cameras and sound to etc.), which find their way into programs - but while you can stick a video in a word document, here in 2013, MS Word itself does not run any faster than it did in 1991, nor has it added any word processing features that were not there in 1991. Indeed, the current version of word is markedly inferior to word 5.1, even in terms of features. Slower; less customizable; uglier and more confusing (those fucking ribbons!); not very compatible with older versions of word (and as might be apparent from these comments I have word documents reaching back to 1990; I have some word perfect and .rtf documents from 89....) Files have gotten bigger and bigger through the years, even for just text, though I'm not sure how much of that is real and how much is due to new disk formats. Etc.! I could go on... It is very frustrating - I use Word more than anything, this side of the internet - and am a lot more fussy about it than I am about browsers, and the latest version of Word (Office 2011 for Mac) is junk. Better, by a damned sight, than Office 2010 for Windows, which I'm saddled with at work, but that is no accomplishment - though even there - I never minded office 03. I skipped 07; I loath 2010. Here - one of the results of last year's (really bad) technical disaster was that I bought a MacAir (a device that delights me as much as anything I have used in years, I have to admit) - I wanted to get Office on that, but could not find my 2011 DVD (if I even had such a thing) - so I loaded 2008 on it. Office and Word 08 is actually a pretty good piece of software - certainly better than 11.

All right... Rant off! I am calm. I am annoyed - I have my habits for reading the internet, and don't like them disrupted, but it will be all right. Serenity now!

I think at this point, I am obligated to post a picture of a cat, attempting to help set up a mini-iPad:


Joseph B. said...

I moved to Netvibes. Love it, no issues whatsoever. www.netvibes.com

weepingsam said...

That's Bloglines - which I think I actually prefer as a reader - but it seems to be much slower than the Old Reader, especially loading, and it seems a bit quirky at times. Seems to log me out sometimes; how much of that was because I was trying to load a month's worth of unread blogs, I can't say... given the trouble with the Old Reader, I might stick with it - I've been using it in this crisis....

Sérgio Dias Branco said...

I moved to www.feedly.com. Consider it.

Chang said...

This is great!